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Food Service, Covid, and You

 •  2 min read



Annette Griffus

About Author

Some restaurateurs have weathered the storm better than others with delivery and pick-up orders

By Cameron Wilson

BSCRE Managing Broker

The emergence and rapid spread of covid-19 throughout the United States has had dramatic repercussions for most businesses, small and large. As we all try to navigate these uncharted waters and adjust to varying safety precautions, some businesses have adapted well while others have struggled. In no area is this more visible than in the food-service industry.

Sadly, here in Kitsap County, and throughout Washington State, we have watched many of our favorite places to eat, drink, and unwind close their doors. While we are cautiously optimistic about their eventual re-opening, some restaurateurs have weathered the storm better than others. What’s their secret to success? Flexibility, a loyal customer base, and perhaps most importantly – the ability to pivot to a takeaway or delivery intensive model.

Restaurants which have embraced the “to-go” model have, by and large, maintained a reasonable percentage of their pre-pandemic sales. Whether it is direct home delivery, in-store takeout, or perhaps most popularly, using so-called “gig worker” businesses like UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and others; finding creative solutions to keep their customers coming back for more has been instrumental in keeping many small and medium-sized food service businesses afloat.

Many such businesses are seeing record-setting takeaway sales through this previously under-utilized component – helping to offset losses suffered by the reduction in in-person dining. One of the reasons driving this success? The lower operational costs of doing takeaway business. Restaurants can provide the increased sales at a reduced cost by decreasing sanitization expenses, dish-washing, and “right-sizing” their staff overhead. For now, the increased sales and decreased expenses are providing just enough of a profit margin to enable these businesses to keep doing what they do best – filling their customers’ bellies with delicious food.

While no one knows what the long-term effects on the food service industry will be, in the short term these creative and flexible restauranteurs are using innovation and creativity to keep their customers fed, their employees working, and their business in the black.

And that’s something worth raising a toast to!

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